Today we had a Chinese New Year day! We invited our host families to come. And I loved dinner very much; there were many traditional Chinese dishes. I hadn’t eaten Chinese food for a long time! We taught our host families how to use chopsticks and they thought it was fun! Although we still had forks, spoons, and knives, we used chopsticks until dinner was finished. After dinner, we had TESOL graduation! But I needed to prepare for drama so I didn’t see the graduation. Grace and Rebecca spent lots of time and finally finished my hairstyle. It looked good, but it was hard to keep it neat!
I felt so nervous when I saw so many people in the audience in front of the stage! During the drama, I didn’t forget my lines. Everybody did their best and spoke loudly on the stage. But I forgot to appear during a scene! The scene was after the family runs and hides, we sisters and brothers needed to appear and feel happy that we are safe. But I forgot I needed to appear so I changed into my costume for the next scene! When I discovered that, it was too late. Everything was good except this mistake. When we finished the drama and curtain call, I felt so relaxed! It was fun to play in a drama. I liked my theatrical costume and my role. I hope that I can play in a drama next time!
Photo Credits: TESOLites & Gong Xi Gong Xi by Karen Chen
Today is Sunday. We went to Mr. Foster’s home after church. Their house is located in the countryside with a very big backyard and swimming pool. Just as many American families do, they have a pet dog, Bony. She is a collie. She cooperated with us to take a lot of pictures. Aside from that we spent almost all our time swimming in the pool. There was also a diving board placed at the poolside. Therefore we tried any pose we could think of to dive, like flipping, throwing the football and catching it right after turning around and so on. Additionally, we recorded it by digital camera. We had great fun with these.
Mr. Foster is a kind person and so is his son, Aaron. We swam, played volleyball, and sat on a big swing on the tree. Aaron has a little problem with brain seizures. But it did not prevent us from enjoying activities. His father just has to call him to take him to take a break for a while. Mr. and Mrs. Foster have three daughters–two of them are named Rachel and Rebekah. We had a great dinner with them and one by one presented our prepared gifts to show appreciation for their hospitality. The Fosters said they will come to the training center on Tuesday to see the musical.
It was a good memory to me in Oklahoma City.
Photo Credits: Blessed by Generosity by Karen Chen
Saturday night, we did something VOICE has never done before… we walked out on a show. We thought Shakespeare in the Park would be a good taste of culture. It was a taste of culture all right. We walked into the play blind, but when the stage dimmed for intermission, we had to make a choice. So we decided to walk out– all 55 of us.
One might say we wasted our money that night. I don’t see it that way. What started off as an awkward evening turned into an opportunity to live out our faith in a very real and inconvenient way.
We talked through it with everyone afterwards, and then God blessed us with an amazing time of prayer. Staff and students poured out their hearts in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese…
And the tide began to turn.
That night, our first student gave her life to the Lord.
Photo Credits: Thinking by Karen Chen
This drama is a famous literature by Shakespeare and almost everyone knows the story, but today’s show was in a different form that I’ve never seen before. However, I couldn’t understand all of the words and sentences that the actors said, and it was a little difficult for me to figure out the play. Unfortunately, there were some bad actions that made us feel uncomfortable. To avoid going through the test of corruption, we left in advance. I think that was a good and wise decision though it was a pity that we couldn’t finish all the play. To see an outdoor stage play—watching and sweating, listening and dozing—was a really special experience to us!
Photo credits: Thoughtfully Watching, Karen Chen
This week I learned some English about orderliness. And I learned how to order something at Sonic. Yesterday we went to Oklahoma National Museum. We learned about the Oklahoma City bombing. It was terrible.
In the park we played games and played basketball. I learned how to play the game. Today we went ice skating. I think it is so slippery and a little different from roller skating. Today we also had a Christmas festival. I learned that what they do at Christmas in the U.S. is not the same as Taiwan. On Valentine’s Day we served our dinner partner.
There are some things I learned this week.
Photo Credits: Going for the Goal by the Rowan Gillson
We went to a very beautiful place in Oklahoma. That is the Oklahoma City National Memorial. I was so excited to visit there. I like the grass and the reflecting pool there. We took a lot of picture outside and we have a lot of fun there, although many people told us to be serious. When we enter to the museum, I became serious. Just like I was in April 19, 1995. I just can’t understand why the guy do such a terrible thing. Families were, and lots of people lost the person they loved.
When we came out from the museum, I just don’t know how to use word to describe my feeling. Life is weak, and we don’t know what will happen the next moment. As soon as we arrived at training center, we discussed a display of the items used to represent the lives of the people who were killed in the bombing. We shared with our class what item we would choose to represent our life. At first, I wanted my voice, because I want to use my voice to praise God and to cheer people up. But since I couldn’t put my neck there, I then decided I would put a statue of my hands. I want to use my hands to help other people.
Photo Credits: Reflection By the Time Gate by Karen Chen
I look forward to the next day every day. I knew the seven basic principles before. But when I listen the second time, I start to understand what Jesus wants me to do and think about. Although many times I am very tired and even want to take a nap, God still touches my heart. To be a real Christian is very difficult. There are many rules to be obeyed. The Bible is not only a difficult book, but it can be used a lot of ways in my real life. I have to be more close to God.
The activities at night are funny and exciting. I enjoy each of the activities. And I feel very happy too. “Time is flying like an arrow.” It’s already one week into the program. I wish I can cherish the next three weeks I am here at VOICE.
Photo Credits: Smile by Karen Chen
We had a really special dinner last night. Though it’s in July, we had a Valentine’s Day dinner! This is one of the important holidays in America. We all had to draw a card—it was actually half a heart—and then we needed to find the person whose card matches yours, so that we all got a partner to dine with. It is really special to me because I never had a formal Valentine’s Day dinner before. We had a VOICE sing-off and games after the dinner. It was really fun.
Apart from those fun times, I was really touched by the world’s first love story Rowan shared with us. Ever since the time of creation, the love story between God and men has been ongoing. And God is so loving that He decided to include all of us in His love story, no matter whether we would love Him back or not. But to me, I have decided to spend my whole life loving Him, no matter what it takes, because He is the only one who has been loving me even before I knew Him!
Photo Credits: Singing by Rowan Gillson
Today we had a fun experience in English class. I think it’s a memory that I will not forget. Today, Faith taught us how to buy fast food. We all had $2.00 to spend. We walked to Sonic. Today was a very hot day, so I was thinking I would buy a big chocolate ice-cream as I walked.
We didn’t spend too much time walking. We arrived at Sonic after three minutes, but we really spent more time ordering and buying. I bought a really big ice-cream; it was so nice. But it was also too sweet for me.
Today was so special, I am bound to never forget the happy day.
Photo credits: Ordering, Faith Chen